Rethinking Guardianship: Emma’s Story

Emma Budway describes her experience as a nonspeaking autistic woman under guardianship and the benefits of less restrictive alternatives.

Guardianship is a restrictive legal arrangement that often strips many rights from disabled people, including the right to make independent decisions. But it doesn’t have to be this way—supported decision-making is a less restrictive alternative arrangement that centers the individual and their wishes and preferences. Emma Budway details how we can reimagine guardianship, including for nonspeaking autistic people like her.

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Emily DiMatteo

Former Senior Policy Analyst, Disability Justice Initiative

Mia Ives-Rublee

Director, Disability Justice Initiative

Vilissa Thompson

Senior Fellow

Video producers

Ala Al Sadi

Former Video Producer

James Mertz

Video intern

Hai-Lam Phan

Senior Director, Creative

Toni Pandolfo

Video Producer, Production

Daniel Turner

Former Events Video Producer


Disability Justice Initiative

We promote policies to ensure disabled people of color and those most marginalized by ableism and other forms of oppression can participate in the economy and democracy.

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